It is almost inevitable that at some point a left-handed hitter will have to deal with the issue of whether he is or is not getting hits off left-handed pitching. Since his arrival in Albuquerque, outfield prospect Joc Pederson has endured his fair share of questions about that subject.
To his credit, Pederson has been dealing those questions from the day he signed, and he is still willing to talk about it. Of late, there has been plenty to talk about as the Salt Lake Bees have started three straight lefties against the Isotopes.
Pederson has hit .398/.504/.663 with six home runs and 14 RBI. Break it down versus lefties and righties and then the split is obvious. Pederson has hit an astonishing .475/.584/.836 with five homers against right-handers. Against southpaws, he has hit a more pedestrian .270/.357/.378.
“I mean the numbers don’t lie, so it is what it is,” Pederson said. “But realistically it’s about going out there every day and competing.”
Pederson did point out that when he has a bad game with a right-hander on the mound, fans, scouts and media just tend to say that he simply had a bad day. Struggle against a lefty and everyone is asking what is wrong.
“You face four righties in a row when you’re feeling great and they’re giving you good pitches and you’re hitting good,” Pederson said. “You face four lefties in a row, feeling crappy, they make good pitches and then they say you can’t hit lefties. Obviously that’s a rash opinion, or too quick, but essentially if you face four righties, feeling bad and they make good pitches, tip your cap. But they don’t (criticize you). It’s a very long season, so I’m not worried about it one bit.”
Pederson went 3-for-4 with a solo home run off veteran lefty Wade LeBlanc of Salt Lake on Wednesday night. It was his first homer against a southpaw this year.
“It’s all about getting a good pitch to hit,” Pederson said. “If he makes good pitches, you kind of have to tip your cap. I’m happy with how things are going. I see a lot of improvement, but I also see a lot of weaknesses I’ve got to keep improving on. So it’s very encouraging.”
The one thing the Isotopes have not done is sit Pederson when a lefty is on the mound. That will continue to be the team’s plan, manager Damon Berryhill said.
“He’s had some good ABs against lefties and struggled a little bit on some nastier lefties,” Berryhill said. “But we’re not really concerned with him facing lefty-lefty. It’s something that you know the more opportunity he gets, the better he’s getting.
“It’s something where it’s actually a very good development tool to see so many lefties, just to get opportunity after opportunity. I’m really not concerned with him seeing lefties. He’s going to get a ton of opportunities. I’m always looking for him to come up with the big hits and so far he’s done it this season.”
Once again, the Isotopes have woken up to multiple roster moves. Despite Berryhill saying that Red Patterson was unavailable to the Dodgers due to the flu, the right-hander was called up to pitch the second game of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Thursday night.
It will be the Major League debut for Patterson, 26. He has gone 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts for Albuquerque this season.
While Patterson can be the designated 26th man for the doubleheader, thus not necessitating someone being removed from the Dodgers’ active 25-man roster, they did need to make room on the 40-man. Isotopes right fielder Nick Buss was the casualty as he was designated for assignment.
To fill out Albuquerque’s roster, infielder Carlos Triunfel and right-hander Josh Judy were activated. Triunfel was sent down by the Dodgers earlier this week, while Judy had been assigned to the Ogden roster in a paper move.